Have I ever mentioned that it is coconut, I love, after chillies and spices?
Having grown in a state where coconut is abundant and introduced in almost all ways in the everyday life, my love for the nut had been undying all the years.
I came to know about Aparna's ,"We Knead to Bake", only 3-4 days back. I instantly fell in love with the theme, the name and everything about it.
Unfortunately being shifted to a small town for the time being, I couldn't get hold of fresh yeast. All I had was 1/2 tsp of Fleishmann's that too almost nearing the expiry date. The proof testing part went fine and I my hopes started flying high. With the limited amount of good quality yeast in hand I couldn't knead the full amount of dough and use my loaf pan now!
I was pleasantly surprised to see that Aparna had an answer to every single doubt I had in mind back in her post!
Finally I decided upon quartering the recipe and making miniature pull apart bread stacked cozy in my bundt pan.
Cardamom Flavoured Coconut Pull Apart Bread
For the Dough:
1/2 cup warm milk
1 tsp sugar
2 tsp active dry yeast
2 3/4 to 3 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup scant sugar
1/2 tsp salt
25gm butter, soft at room temperature
3/4 cup milk (+ a couple of tbsp to brush over the bread)
For the Filling:
15 to 20gm melted butter
3/4 - 1 cup freshly grated coconut (loosely filled)
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp of freshly ground cardamom
In a small bowl, dissolve the sugar and the yeast in the 1/2 cup of warm milk. Keep aside for about 5 minutes till the yeast mixture bubbles up.
Put 2 3/4 cup of flour, salt and softened butter in the food processor bowl (or a large bowl) and pulse a couple of times to mix. Then add the yeast mixture and the 3/4 cup of milk and knead till you have a soft, smooth and elastic/ pliable dough which is not sticky. Add a little extra flour if your dough is sticking,but only just as much as is necessary.
Shape the dough into a ball and place it in a well-oiled bowl, turning the dough to coat it completely with oil (I used ghee). Cover and let it rise for about 1 to 1 1/2 hours or until almost double in volume.
Combine coconut and cardamom.Dust your work surface lightly with flour. Deflate the dough, shape it into a square and roll the dough out into a larger square that is about 12’ by 12”. Brush the surface of the square with the melted butter.
Evenly sprinkle sugar and then the coconut cardamom mix. Use a rolling pin to very lightly press the topping into the dough to ensure the topping doesn’t fall off when you are stacking the strips.
Using a pizza cutter, slice the dough from top to bottom into 6 long and even strips – they do not have to be perfect. Lay each strip on top of the next, with the topping facing upwards, until you have a stack of the strips.
You can put the 2 strips cut from the sides in the middle of the stack so it looks neater. Using a pastry scraper or a sharp knife, cut straight down through the stack dividing it into 6 equal pieces (6 square stacks).
Grease and lightly flour a 9” by 4” (or 5”) loaf tin. Butter and lightly flour a 9 x 5 loaf pan. Layer the square slices, cut sides down into the loaf tin.
Cover the loaf tin dough with a towel and allow the dough to rise for an hour. Lightly brush some milk over the top of the loaf.
Bake the dough at 180C (350F) for about 30 to 40 minutes until it is done and the top is golden brown. This recipe bakes one 9” by 5” loaf.
The minor changes I made with the dough from the original recipe are
~ I halved the amount of salt (1tsp to 1/2 tsp) as I chose a sweet version. Hence I had to avoid garlic.
~ Addition of sugar while kneading the dough.
I preferred to use ghee/clarified butter to coat the dough set before rising.
As for the filling it is coconut flavoured by cardamom layered after sprinkled sugar.
I have given the measurement for a 9” by 5” loaf ,above . As mentioned earlier I quartered the original recipe to accommodate the dough in my bundt pan.
I was elated when the strips got tucked the whole round in the bundt pan perfectly! But I felt I would end up with 'pull apart crackers' as the slices were small and stacked between the narrow ridges of the pan :) To my amazement the bready texture remained perfect after 35 minutes at 180C!
Though I coated the pan well enough with butter and dusted with flour, I failed to invert the baked bread beautifully. The freshly baked coconut pull apart bread with the bursting aroma of cardamom and the whole house smelling baked bread was heaven!